The 19-year-old former student who killed two people and injured others at a high school in St. Louis on Monday had more than 600 rounds of ammunition on him when he entered the school and left a handwritten note about feeling isolated and having no social life, authorities said on Tuesday.
The suspect, who was shot and killed by a responding police officer, was identified on Monday as Orlando Harris. Authorities say he graduated from the school, Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, last year and had no prior criminal history. A motive is not yet known, and the investigation is ongoing.
The deceased victims were a 16-year-old student and a 61-year-old teacher. Seven other victims, all 15 or 16 years old, were injured and are currently in hospital and are reportedly in stable condition.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, interim St. Louis Police Chief Michael Sack said the "suspect brought in a large quantity of ammunition," including a .223-caliber AR-15-style rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition.
In addition, Sack said that the suspect had left a handwritten note in the car he drove to the school, which was found by the FBI. In the note, Sack said the suspect spoke about "his desire to engage in this incident to conduct a school shooting."
The detective then read a quote from the note that he said the shooter had written.
"I don't have any friends, I don't have any family, I've never had a girlfriend, I've never had a social life. I've been an isolated loner my entire life," the note read. "This was the perfect storm for a mass shooter," the suspect himself wrote.
The handwritten note allows us to see "some of what's going on his in mind," Sack said, adding that the shooter most likely felt "angry and resentful of others who have, what appeared to him, healthy relationships."
Sack encouraged citizens to notify the police if they are "aware of an individual who appears to be suffering from some kind of mental illness or distress" and is talking about buying guns or causing harm.
Sack did not provide any updates on the status of the victims' conditions, only saying that they have not yet been released from the hospital.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones also spoke at the news conference, telling reporters that she attended a vigil on Monday night with more than 100 people who gathered to honor the victims. "They shared a wide range of emotions," Jones said. "Frustration, anger, and grief, and others felt impassioned to do more for their community."
Jones said that gun violence that "continues to claim the lives of our children and families" is a "national emergency," calling it a "public health crisis" that "requires federal action."
At the local level, Jones said that she wants the community to "know that they are not alone." Jones began listing free mental health services and resources that are available for those who are suffering trauma as a result of this incident.
"Some parents like myself woke up this morning wondering if it's safe to send their children back to school in St. Louis," Jones said, adding that her son woke up during the night and "needed to talk."
"As a mother, you try to reassure your children that everything is going to be OK, and I honestly felt like the safest place and best place for him today was to go back to school to be with school counselors to help him process," the mayor said.